'Massive, unexpected' turnout in Egypt vote
Wednesday 30 November 2011
Egyptians poured onto the streets for a second day of voting yesterday as the Military Council appeared intent on using the large turnout to bolster its shaky position.
Queues snaked around the streets of Egypt's towns and cities, with Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim, the head of the country's election commission saying the turnout had been "massive and unexpected".
Protesters who remain camped out in central Cairo have demanded the generals who have governed Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February step down immediately. Many are worried that the military will be reluctant to step aside. But Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's de facto leader, has seemed keen to isolate the demonstrators, suggesting in recent statements that the activists controlling Tahrir Square do not represent Egyptian opinion.
In a sign that the military's strategy might be bearing fruit, the numbers of demonstrators in downtown Cairo has dwindled noticeably in recent days. One observer joked on Twitter that there seemed to be more stallholders than protesters now.
After various political parties called for a postponement or boycott of the poll in the wake of last week's rioting, the apparent enthusiasm for Egypt's historic election could be a boon to military prestige – particularly as the vote is being safeguarded by tens of thousands of troops. The Muslim Brotherhood's political wing said the election would "complete the revolution of 25 January".
The three-round vote for Egypt's lower house of parliament, which many have criticised for its complexity, will be completed in January. A poll for the upper house is due to end in March.
Bahrain shifts security chief
King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa replaced Bahrain's head of state security yesterday after an inquiry exposed rights abuses during a crackdown on Arab Spring protests in the Gulf state. Bahrain has said it will comply with the findings of the independent commission of inquiry. The former security head, Sheikh Khalifa bin Abdullah, will now advise the king. Reuters
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Leonard Nimoy dead: Star Trek Spock actor dies after suffering lung disease
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...